There is a place that most know about but seldom speak of in polite society. A place where men fear to tread. A place that turns a normal adult woman into a crazy lunatic the minute she walks through the doors. A place filled with objects that can strike terror in the hearts of even the bravest of souls.
The Cracker Barrel.
Never has there existed a restaurant that makes me behave in such a terrible manner such as this one. I don’t really understand what happens. I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of evil tchochke vortex located directly in the middle of their “country store” that sucks me in. We only visit Cracker Barrel when we’re on road trips. Usually it is the place we stop on our annual drive to Minnesota to see my family. I think it’s the biscuits that lure us in. Captain Carl is always the first to suggest it.
Me: Where should we eat?
Captain: I think there’s a Cracker Barrel about 30 minutes up the road.
Me: Are you sure you want to go there?
Captain: Why not?
Me: Oh, I don’t know…
Captain: I love their food.
Me: Me too.
Captain: Okay, let’s stop there then.
And then we walk in. And then he remembers why he should never, ever take me to the Cracker Barrel.
Me: Ooooh look! Yankee candles!
Captain: Shit. I forgot about the country store.
Me: They have cinnamon scented ones!
Captain: You have a million candles already.
Me: But not this one! I have to get it. Ooooooh! Would you just look at those cute teapots!
Captain: Come on, let’s get a table and eat.
Me: Just a sec. I have to see these teapots.
Me: Ooooh!!! Look at this one! *holds teapot up by face*
Captain: You don’t even drink tea.
Me: I know, but look! It has bluebirds on it! Awwwww! And hearts!
Captain: *rubs eyes* Come on…I’m starving.
Me: Okay okay. *squealing* OMG!!!! Wind chimes! *runs off*
Captain: Damn it!
Me: Honey, we don’t have any wind chimes…
Captain: Because I hate them.
Me: Why do you hate them again?
Captain: Because the sound is too random.
Me: Oh but listen! *runs fingers through all 50 wind chimes* See? Beautiful!
Me: We should get the one with the dogs on the top. Oh no! This one! With the fall leaves! It’s almost fall, we have to get this one!
Captain: I’m getting a table. *walks away*
Me: Okay, order me a Diet Coke. I’ll be there in a minute. *runs to corner of store* 70% off! *yelling* Honey! 70% off!!
Captain: *pretends not to know me*
20 minutes later
Me: You’re eating. You ordered without me?
Captain: I told you I was hungry.
Me: Check it out…I got the best deal ever! *opens shopping bag*
Captain: What the hell is that?
Me: It’s a cookie jar!
Captain: It’s in the shape of a John Deere tractor.
Me: Adorable, right?!!
Captain: I just…why?
Me: It was 70% off! *hand up in the air* High five!
Captain: Which made it….
Me: $29.99. A total steal! Huh? Huh? Come on...high five! *looks at hand*
Captain: *stares at cookie jar* Why is this a necessity in life?
Me: We need somewhere to put the cookies. *gives self high five* Yeah! I'm awesome!
Captain: You hardly ever bake cookies.
Me: I will now that I have this!
Captain: And also it’s a tractor.
Me: It’s decorative. Nevermind, you don’t understand.
Captain: What’s in that other bag?
Me: Oh ummm….just some things.
Captain: Wind chimes?
One hour later…on the road.
Captain: What’s wrong?
Me: Why did you let me buy that junk?
Captain: What? I didn’t LET you do anything…you just did it. Just like you always do.
Me: Well you're the husband. You're in charge. You should have stopped me.
Captain: I haven't been in charge since I met you.
Me: But still....a John Deere cookie jar?? Gah!
Captain: Last year it was those creepy angel statues. The year before that it was all those dry soup mixes. And then there was the Great Santa Mug Debacle of 2005.
Me: Seriously, I don’t know why I do it. I’m like a crazy person in that place.
Me: We have to pack lighter next year.
Me: So I can fit one of those Cracker Barrel rocking chairs in the back.
On Becoming My Grandmother
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